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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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uname — display information about computer system; set node name (system name)


uname [-ailmnrsv]

uname [-S nodename]


In the first form above, the uname command displays selected information about the current computer system, derived from the utsname structure (see uname(2)).

In the second form, uname sets the node name (system name) that is used in the utsname structure.


uname recognizes the options listed below. If you enter several options, the output is always in the order shown for the -a option.


Equivalent to -s.


Display the options below in the following order, separated by blanks.

-s -n -r -v -m -i -l


Display the machine identification number (or the node name, if the machine identification number cannot be determined). This option cannot display the unique machine identification number. For getting the unique machine identification number refer to the getconf command or confstr call. See getconf(1)) and confstr(3C).


Display the license level of the operating system. 128-, 256-, and unlimited-user licenses are shown as unlimited-user license.


Display the machine hardware and model names. On Itanium(R)-based systems, this option always displays ia64. See WARNINGS.


Display the node name (system name) by which the system is usually known in a UUCP network. See WARNINGS.


Display the current release level of the operating system.


Display the name of the operating system. On standard HP-UX systems, this option always displays HP-UX.


Display the current version level of the operating system.

-S nodename

Change the node name (system name) to nodename. nodename is restricted to UTSLEN-1 characters (see uname(2)). See WARNINGS. Only users with appropriate privileges can use the -S option.


When you execute the command uname -a, it produces output like the following:

HP-UX myhost A.09.01 C 9000/750 2015986034 32-user license

The displayed fields are interpreted as follows:


The operating system name (option -s).


The UUCP network system name by which the system is known (-n).


The operating system release identifier (-r).


The operating system version identifier (-v).


The machine and model numbers (-m).


The machine identification number (-i).

32-user license

The operating system license level (-l).


It is recommended that the model command or the getconf command be used to obtain the model name, since future model names may not be compatible with uname. See model(1) and getconf(1).

Many types of networking services are supported on HP-UX, each of which uses a separately assigned system name and naming convention. To ensure predictable system behavior, it is essential that system names (also called host names or node names) be assigned in such a manner that they do not create conflicts when the various networking facilities interact with each other.

The system does not rely on a single system name in a specific location, partly because different services use dissimilar name formats as explained below. The hostname and uname commands assign system names as follows:

Node NameCommandname FormatUsed By
Internet namehostname namesys[.x.y.z...]ARPA and NFS Services
UUCP nameuname -S namesysuucp and related programs

where sys represents the assigned system name. It is strongly recommended that sys be identical for all commands and locations and that the optional .x.y.z... follow the specified notation for the particular ARPA/NFS environment.

Internet names are also frequently called host names or domain names (which are different from NFS domain names). Refer to hostname(5) for more information about Internet naming conventions.

Whenever the system name is changed in any file or by the use of any of the above commands, it should also be changed in all other locations as well. Other files or commands in addition to those above (such as /etc/uucp/Permissions if used to circumvent uname, for example) may contain or alter system names. To ensure correct operation, they should also use the same system name.

System names are normally assigned by the /sbin/init.d/hostname script at start-up, and should not be altered elsewhere.

Setting a nodename of more than 8 bytes is possible only with the appropriate configuration options enabled. It is strongly recommended that all related documentation be completely understood before setting a larger node name. A node name larger than 8 bytes can cause anomalous or incorrect behavior in applications which use the uname command or the uname() system function to access the name.


uname: SVID2, SVID3, XPG2, XPG3, XPG4, POSIX.2

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